Every athlete is egotistical and that is just the nature of the game. In order to beat the best you must always know you’re the best. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always transcend from their conscience to their win column. Whether it’s viral videos of stacking money or desperate reality TV shows, the media showcases the cockiness of athletes at every opportunity.
Hear are some of the biggest asshole-athletes that we adore:
12. Tiger Woods
“I want to be what I’ve always wanted to be: dominant.” The confidence of Tiger Woods would intimidate every fifty-something “athlete” in a pair of pleaded khakis on the links. For years he was the most dominant golfer in history, scaring the mashed bananas out of every geriatric on the PGA Tour. But his golf game was nothing compared to his side hustle. The “cockiest” golfer of all blatantly cheated on his wife with a seemingly endless list of porn stars and reality TV castoffs. He’s kind of lost his “eye of the tiger” since the whole saga played out publicly, but if dude gets his swag back, lock up your daughter and invest in green jackets.
11. Mike Tyson
“I’ll fight any man, any animal, if Jesus were here I’d fight him too.” All the kiddies might know him as Hangover actor, Oprah show guest, fun loving, and humble Mike Tyson. In his heyday however, Iron Mike was super cocky and really just an all around scary dude. His people had him believing he was the best and the way he ran through his opponents it was hard to disagree. He gave us the epic face tattoo, the “I’m the best eva” speech, and countless other amazing sound bytes showing off his underrated vocabulary and humongous ego. We wish he never went on the meds and was still going crazy on us. Then again he did bite body parts off people. Nevermind, we have enough zombies these days.
10. LeBron James
“I’m like a superhero. Call me Basketball Man.” The most hated athlete in sports today can’t say a little bit of it isn’t warranted. We all know, “The Decision,” and the infamous pep rally shortly thereafter where he predicted 7+ championships. But what about the iconic “Chosen 1” tat stretched out across his back? And that “you gotta go back to your life” response to the haters after the Finals loss last year? Don’t forget the ’09 “Dunk-Gate.” We love his game, but let’s just say the dude feels a tad entitled.
9. Randy Moss
“Ain’t nothing but 10 grand. What’s 10 grand to me? It ain’t shit. Next time I might shake my dick” You can’t name five athletes as gifted and as talented as Randy Moss, and neither can he. When you’re a guy like Randy and you have enough dough to pay fines in straight cash homey, it’s hard not to be cocky. Of course being that cocky may also lend itself to “I’m better than you” type behavior like the infamous “play when I want to” statement and mooning incident. We’re all anxious to see if he still got it in San Fran.
8. Alex Rodriguez
“When people write [bad things] about me, I don’t know if it’s [because] I’m good-looking, I’m biracial, I make the most money, I play on the most popular team…” Oh, A-Rod. He’s without a doubt one of the most annoying people in sports history and has the track record to prove it. Even as a young’n in Seattle Alex always put himself above others, he reportedly would ask dates: “Who’s hotter, me or Jeter?” Then when he went to Texas and received the richest contract in baseball history that ego ballooned to unseen heights. Take that feeling you have on payday and multiply it by about 250,000. Yeah, that’s how dude is feeling-every day. Excuse us as we try to figure out where things went wrong in life.
7. Cristiano Ronaldo
“God sent me to Earth to show people how to play football.” Don’t lie. If you were living the life of Cristiano Ronaldo, you’d be cocky as hell too. From bagging multiple hotties to consistently impressing on the field, Cristiano is living that life. He may have said some some crazy stuff from time to time, like claiming to be better than Lionel Messi, or saying that he was sent by God to Earth to show people how to play football, but in the end, he backs it all up by leaps and bounds…and overly dramatic flops.
6. Kobe Bryant
“I don’t give a fuck what you say.” It’s no secret that the Black Mamba’s got a big ego, and in between winning and giving us news stories for years, we’ve seen it shine through plenty. Whether it be his revered trash talking, forcing the Lakers to ship Shaq out of town, letting a fan know he’s top three all time, or even the hilarious “Kobe System” commercials, Kobe knows he’s one of the best to ever lace ‘em up, and has no problem letting you know that too.
5. Michael Jordan
“There is no ‘I’ in team, but there is in win” Everyone knew Michael Jordan was going to make damn near every clutch shot he took‚-including himself. He was cocky because he was the best and could not be stopped. Mike relished a challenge. He once made a free-throw with his eyes closed for Dikembe Mutumbo and shrugged off an NBA Finals record six straight threes. When he was cut from his high school team as a sophomore in favor of his buddy Leroy Smith because of his height, he made it his business to get better. After he retired the first time, his first words on his return were simply, “I’m back.” Whenever he told cats he was gonna drop 40, he would drop 40. Cocky? Watch his Hall of Fame speech and you’ll understand.
4. Chael Sonnen
“I want an easy fight. Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva. Either of the Silvas. Bigfoot Silva. They all suck. Gimme a Silva.” Prior to his UFC 117 matchup with Anderson Silva, Sonnen went on a veritable trash-talking rampage, dissing Silva’s martial arts bonafides (“A black belt from the Nogueira brothers is like saying I got a free toy in my happy meal”) and threatening Silva with unsportsmanlike (and unsanitary) violence (“I’ll smile to his face and if he turns his back I’m gonna stick a knife in him and walk away without even cleaning up the mess”). He also (allegedly) made a series of funny (“you are going to be on your back more than a pornstar with a mortgage”) and racist (“pray to whatever Demon effigy you prance and dance in front of with your piglet tribe of savages that I decide not to CRUCIFY you”) tweets from an account he later claimed was a fake. Whatever. But after talking the talk, could he walk the walk? Turns out yes, to a point. He bested Silva on all the judges cards through four rounds, only to tap out with 3:10 left in the fight. He was subsequently suspended for having an elevated testosterone level, which might explain the extraordinary performance-and the extraordinary trash talk.
3. Terrell Owens
“I’ll watch the highlights every now and then but, as far as watching the game, I feel like I am the game.” T.O. is the guy cocky receivers look at for inspiration when they wake up in the morning. Throughout his tumultuous career filled with drama and spectacular success (he’s one of the greatest, FWIW), Terrell Owens had the bravado and eccentricity few ever will. He dishonored the Dallas Star as a 49er, called his QBs out like nobody’s business, and of course had his own reality show. Hey, at least he always brought it on the field.
2. Chad Ochocinco
“There’s three things in life that’s certain: Death, taxes, and 85 will always be open.” A list of the cockiest athletes in sports history just wouldn’t be complete without Chad Ochocinco. From his innovative, hilarious and downright arrogant touchdown celebrations to his “Future Hall of Famer” jacket, Ochocinco exudes cockiness through every pore in his body. Since joining the Patriots, however, the attitude has been toned down-as has the playing time. But as they say, when one door closes, another one opens. That new door is called Twitter where Chad flourishes on a nightly basis.
1. Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
“Yup, I’m better than Muhammad Ali. Sugar Ray Robinson? Yup, I’m better than Sugar Ray Robinson. I would never say there’s another fighter better than me.” Aside from boxing enthusiasts not too many people had heard of Floyd Mayweather prior to the mid-2000s. Sure, he was undefeated back then and had won titles, but after Mayweather left Top Rank promotions in 2006 to become his own boss that’s when the world really got to know Pretty Boy Floyd. From his classic 24/7 moments to his other ridiculous rants, Money Mayweather has shown a belief in himself not matched by many other athletes. Unlike everyone else on this list, Floyd has never lost as a professional. The legend (and ego) grows.
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